What are our overall aims?
- To make contact with those in the Criminal Justice System.
- Mentor/Support, enable not to reoffend on release.
How will we achieve these aims?
Deliver courses in Prison – Mentor/Pastorally Care in line with other relevant organisations in the Community.
The need for our work.
- The need is immense.
- No one else is doing this work in this area.
As a caring organisation we aim to assist those of any or no faith at risk of becoming involved in or already within the Criminal Justice System to a full and permanent rehabilitation by means of faith-based education and training, together with the support of and mentoring within local faith-based communities.
To ensure best practice, particularly with regard to safeguarding issues, in supporting those returning from the Criminal Justice System by maximising the proper use of available resources to local faith-based communities.
The activities of the charity include:
– supporting Prison Chaplaincy teams through the provision of training, courses and other materials and encouraging the involvement of volunteers,
– developing and disseminating faith based educational courses, to assist those working within the Criminal Justice System,
– encouraging and supporting the delivery of faith based educational courses in Prisons and other Criminal Justice System establishments,
– providing training and support for faith-based communities to equip them to support, encourage and assist those returning to the community from the Criminal Justice System by means of mentoring, rehabilitation and assistance with socio-economic issue such as housing and employment.
This is a relatively new charity and at the moment is looking at funds to help it up.
Our board of trustees and volunteers have experience in this area.
We believe our work helps tackle a big problem often faced with difficulty by the Government and society. We make a lasting difference to people’s lives rather than simply alleviating the symptoms or current problems.
- Reduce isolation, stigma and discrimination.
- Encourage or enable unpopular groups to share in the life of the whole community.
People leaving prison struggle to shake off the stigma and access support.
Ex-prisoners struggle to receive help from places like Jobcentre Plus and local authority housing teams. In fact, many face subtle discrimination from the very public sector bodies which they rely on. As one person told us: “They don’t have a clue … The moment you come through the door they’ve got a judgment on you.” Former offenders are being neglected by services that don’t understand their needs and are often labelled as problematic or aggressive. This matters. People coming out of prison need all the help they can get. Ministry of Justice research has shown that former prisoners who have a stable home on release are 15% less likely to reoffend. Those with a job are 20% less likely to commit another crime. In a climate where homes and jobs are scarce offenders need all the help they can get. Nearly two in five prisoners (37%) say that they will need help finding a place to live when they are released. Three out of four don’t have a job lined up on release.
The difficulties that former prisoners face are compounded by the shadow of their criminal past. Research has uncovered many stories of prisoners facing discrimination and prejudice. Margaret, an articulate woman in her forties, was fired after several years working in a job, accused of lying about her criminal record on her original application form. In reality, no one had thought to ask. Then there’s Ahmed, whose health was suffering as a result of damp in his rented flat. When he asked the landlord to fix it he was forced to leave, on the spurious pretext that he was intimidating his neighbours.
If we are to reduce the £15bn annual cost of reoffending we have to tackle this uncomfortable truth. Clearly, part of the solution is for welfare agencies to get better at working with people who’ve been to prison. In practice, the best way to tackle prejudice is to equip and expect prisoners to stand up for themselves. To ensure best practice, particularly with regard to safeguarding issues, in supporting those returning from the Criminal Justice System by maximising the proper use of available resources to local faith based communities.
We aim to provide training and support for faith-based communities to equip them to support, encourage and assist those returning to the community from the Criminal Justice System by means of mentoring, rehabilitation and assistance with socio-economic issue such as housing and employment.
This is a long-term project which needs funding to start and overtime will reach its long-term goals.
We will start with the following when funded:
Funding: Project worker:
- The proposed project worker will be self-employed, working from home, with travel expenses paid.
- Average of 15 hours per week, varying depending on activity undertaken.
- Business expenses incurred.
- Telephone, mileage, postage, stationery, DBS.
- Advertising banner.
- Web-site development.
- Venue hire, buffet, catering .
- Personal training.
- Training delivery.
- In conjunction with management team.